Network Television Draft 2017-2018

Dear Imaginary Friends,

For the past five years I’ve run a Television Draft / Pool. It’s like a football or hockey pool but with new television shows.

television

How It Works

  1. Get a bunch of friends over to your house and watch all the trailers for this year’s new network television shows. (List below)
  2. Everyone pays $5. (You can use pretend money or no money at all)
  3. Divide the amount of shows by the amount of people. (There are 53 this year)
  4. Put everyone’s name in a hat, chip bowl, or other receptor.
  5. Pick a name from the receptor and that person gets first pick. Record what that person chooses and have them pick the next name.
  6. Reverse the order of people who picked. (First goes last, last goes first)
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until everyone has an equal number of shows picked.
  8. Give updates monthly for how well the shows are doing. I recommend TV LineTV By The Numbers, Is My Show Cancelled, and TV Eh? for checking what is and what isn’t cancelled.
  9. At next year’s Draft give this year’s First place 50% of the money collected, Second place 30%, and Third place 20%.

The Points

Points are awarded by how many episodes air and if it’s renewed. All points are tied to the category of the show.

Categories Points Per Episode Aired Renewal Bonus
Traditional American (18-24 Episodes) 1 10
Mini-Series (6-14 Episodes) 2 10
Mid-Season Traditional (6-12 Episodes) 2 15
Unknown /Summer (4+ Episodes) 2 20

The Shows

There are enough shows this season that you could easily play 3-15 people. More if you let 2 people choose the same shows.

Name Network Anticipated Premiere Genre Category Trailer
9-1-1 Fox Midseason Procedural Midseason Description
9JKL CBS 2017-10-02 Sitcom Traditional Trailer
A.P. Bio NBC Unknown School Comedy Unknown Description
Alex, Inc. ABC Unknown Office Sitcom Unknown Trailer
Alias Grace CBC 2017-09-25 Historical Murder Miniseries (6) Trailer
Black Lightning CW Midseason Superhero Midseason Trailer
Burden of Proof  CBC 2018-Winter Legal Drama Miniseries (10) Description
By the Book CBS Midseason Spiritual Drama Midseason Description
Caught  CBC 2018-Winter Legal Drama Miniseries (5) Description
Champions NBC Unknown Sitcom Unknown Description
Crawford  CBC 2018-Winter Family Sitcom Miniseries (15) Description
Deception ABC Unknown Procedural Unknown Trailer
Dynasty CW 2017-10-11 Soap Opera Traditional Trailer
For the People ABC Unknown Legal Drama Unknown Trailer
Frankie Drake Mysteries  CBC Unknown Period Detective Miniseries (11) Description
Ghosted Fox 2017-10-01 Supernatural Traditional Trailer
Good Girls NBC Midseason Crime Drama Midseason Description
Inhumans ABC 2017-09-29 Superhero Traditional Trailer
Instinct CBS Midseason Crime Drama Midseason Description
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World ABC 2017-10-03 Fantasy Drama/Comedy Traditional Trailer
L.A. to Vegas Fox Midseason Flight Sitcom Midseason Trailer
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders NBC 2017-09-26 True Crime Drama Miniseries Trailer
Life Sentence CW Unknown Comedy Drama Unknown Trailer
Little Dog  CBC 2018-Winter Boxing Comedy Miniseries (7) Description
Me, Myself & I CBS 2017-09-25 Comedy Traditional Trailer
Reverie NBC Unknown SciFi Procedural Miniseries (10) Description
Rise NBC Unknown School Drama Miniseries (10) Description
S.W.A.T. CBS 2017-11-02 Police Drama Traditional Trailer
SEAL Team CBS 2017-09-27 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
Splitting Up Together ABC Unknown Family Sitcom Unknown Trailer
Star Trek: Discovery CBS 2017-09-24 Science Fiction Miniseries Trailer
Ten Days in the Valley ABC 2017-10-01 Thriller Traditional Trailer
The Brave NBC 2017-09-25 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
The Crossing ABC Unknown SciFi Thriller Unknown Trailer
The Details CTV Unknown Detective Series Miniseries (10) Description
The Disappearancef CTV Unknown Detective Series Unknown Description
The Gifted Fox 2017-10-02 Superhero Miniseries (10) Trailer
The Good Doctor ABC 2017-09-25 Medical Drama Traditional Trailer
The Indian Detective CTV Unknown Procedural Unknown Trailer
The Mayor ABC 2017-10-03 Political Sitcom Traditional Trailer
The Orville Fox 2017-09-10 SciFi Comedy Traditional Trailer
The Resident Fox Unknown Medical Drama Unknown Trailer
Unspeakable CBC 2018-Winter Historical Drama Miniseries (8) Description
Untitled Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff ABC Unknown Firefighter Drama Unknown Description
Valor CW 2017-10-09 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
Wisdom of the Crowd CBS 2017-10-01 Procedural Drama Traditional Trailer
Young Sheldon CBS 2017-09-25 Family Sitcom Traditional Trailer

Good Luck!
Éric

Network Television Draft 2016-2017

For the past few years I’ve run a Television Draft / Pool. It’s like a football or hockey pool but with new television shows.

Tvpool

 

How It Works

  1. Get a bunch of friends over to your house and watch all the trailers for this year’s new network television shows. (List below)
  2. Everyone Pays $5. (You can use pretend money or no money at all)
  3. Divide the amount of shows by the amount of people. (There are 53 this year)
  4. Put everyone’s name in a hat, chip bowl, or other receptor.
  5. Pick a name from the receptor and that person gets first pick. Record what that person chooses and have them pick the next name.
  6. Reverse the order of people who picked. (First goes last, last goes first)
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until everyone has an equal number of shows picked.
  8. Give updates monthly for how well the shows are doing. I recommend TV Line, TV By The Numbers, and Is My Show Cancelled for checking what is and what isn’t cancelled.
  9. At next year’s Draft give this year’s First place 50% of the money collected, Second place 30%, and Third place 20%.

The Points

Points are awarded by how many episodes air and if it’s renewed. All points are tied to the category of the show.

Categories Points Per Episode Aired Renewal Bonus
Traditional American (18-24 Episodes) 1 10
Mini-Series (6-14 Episodes) 2 10
Mid-Season Traditional (6-12 Episodes) 2 15
Unknown /Summer (4+ Episodes) 2 20

The Shows

There are enough shows this season that you could easily play 3-17 people. More if you let 2 people choose the same shows.

Show Network Estimated Premiere Date Category Trailer link
24: Legacy Fox February 5, 2017 Traditional American Trailer
A.P.B. Fox Unknown Traditional American Trailer
American Housewife ABC October 11, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Bull CBS September 20, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Chicago Justice NBC Unknown Traditional American Trailer
Conviction ABC October 3, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Designated Survivor ABC September 21, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Doubt CBS 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
Downward Dog ABC 2017-Winter Mid-Season Traditional Trailer
Emerald City NBC 2017-Winter Mini-Series (10) Description
Frequency CW October 5, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Great News NBC 2017-Winter Traditional American Description
Imaginary Mary ABC 2017-Winter Mid-Season Traditional Trailer
Kevin Can Wait CBS September 19, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Kim’s Convenience CBC 2016-Fall Mini-Series (13) Teaser
Law & Order: True Crime  NBC Unknown Mini-Series (??) N/A
Lethal Weapon Fox September 21, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
MacGyver CBS September 23, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Making History Fox 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
Man with a Plan CBS October 24, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Marlon NBC 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
Midnight, Texas NBC 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
No Tomorrow CW October 4, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Notorious ABC October 22, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Pitch Fox September 22, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Powerless NBC Unknown Traditional American Trailer
Pure CBC 2017-Winter Mini-Series (6) Description
Pure Genius CBS October 27, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Ransom CBS/Global/TF1/RTL Unknown Mini-Series (13) Description
Riverdale CW 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
Shoot the Messenger CBC 2016-Fall Mini-Series (8) Description
Shots Fired Fox Unknown Mini-Series (10) Trailer
Son of Zorn Fox September 11, 2016 Mini-Series (13) Trailer
Speechless ABC September 21, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Star Fox Unknown Mini-Series (13) Trailer
Star Trek: Discovery CBS/CBS Streaming 2017-Winter Mini-Series (13) Teaser
Still Star-Crossed ABC Unknown Unknown Trailer
Taken NBC 2017-Winter Traditional American Description
Ten Days In The Valley ABC Unknown Unknown Description
The Blacklist: Redemption NBC Unknown Traditional American Trailer
The Exorcist Fox September 23, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
The Good Place NBC September 19, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
The Great Indoors CBS October 27, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
The Mick Fox 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
The North Calling CBC 2017-Winter Mini-Series (7) Description
This is High School CBC 2016-Fall Mini-Series (6) Description
This Is Us NBC September 20, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Time After Time ABC Unknown Unknown Trailer
Timeless NBC October 3, 2016 Traditional American Trailer
Training Day CBS 2017-Winter Traditional American Trailer
Trial & Error NBC Unknown Traditional American Trailer
When We Rise ABC Unknown Mini-Series (7) Description
Workin’ Moms CBC 2017-Winter Mini-Series (13) Description

Good Luck!
Éric

Too Female? #TooFemale

Last Monday, I found out that CBS had passed on the new Nancy Drew TV series. Not because the pilot tested badly (it tested really well) but because it was “Too Female”.

My only reaction was: Ugh!

CBC Ottawa’s All in a Day talked about it that night.

Sarah Shahi – Filming ‘Nancy Drew’ in New York City 3/19/2016 - celebmafia.com
Sarah Shahi – Filming ‘Nancy Drew’ in New York City 3/19/2016 – celebmafia.com

What do they mean by Too Female?

It could mean a lot of things but mostly it means that they believe that it won’t appeal to their core demographic. Which is apparently mostly men between the age of 18 and 49. Which is the demographic that most networks seem to be targeting.

That’s why you get a kickass character like Detective Kate Beckett (Castle) and Doctor Constance Brennan (Bones), but the studio insists that they work with a male lead. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the male is just boring like Body of Proof where the male cops were about as interesting as the corpses. (Mostly less.)

Rarely do you get a mystery show where you have a female lead that isn’t saddled with a male partner to appeal to the “male demographic”. Other than Veronica Mars and Murder She Wrote, the only one I can think of is Rizzoli & Isles.

Does Gender Matter?

From a story perspective; no. You can tell a fantastic story with a male or a female lead.

From a demographics perspective; I don’t know. I’m not your typical man and I can’t speak for all men. I enjoy female leads, and I think a smart intelligent character is awesome. Female led shows have done well in the past; Veronica Mars, Buffy, Xena, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek Voyager, etc.

I have gotten more than one funny look when I’ve mentioned my love for Gilmore Girls or Disney Princess movies, so the stereotype is there.

The one place that it absolutely matters is in representation. I can turn on the tv and press any combination of buttons and there’s a huge chance that I’ll end up on a show with a main character that looks like me. (White male, 18-49) There are good guys that look like me, bad guys, smart, dumb, etc. etc. etc.

We don’t have the same for women. It’s improving but it’s not there yet.

And that’s not mentioning other gender identities, sexual preferences, cultures, ethnicities, etc.

What Can We Do?

Find and Enjoy the #TooFemale shows out there with well written female leads. Share your love on social media, buy the merchandise, go see the movies.

My experience is limited, but the following TV shows have female leads that kick ass (figuratively and literally) and are still on the air. Check them out, and if you love them let the world know:

There are LOTS more but these are the ones I’ve watched and enjoyed.

While you’re feeling active, sign the Agent Carter to Netflix petition.

 

Go and shamelessly enjoy all the “Too Female” shows. They’re usually better written anyway.

Éric

Television Show Draft US/Canada Network shows 2015-2016

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Are you a non-sports geek/nerd/dork? Do you feel like you’re missing out when you hear about people playing Hockey/Football/Baseball/Soccer drafts?

(Cue infomercial voice.)I sure did! And that’s why I developed the Television Show Draft.

This draft only includes the Big Four American Networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX), The CW, and the Big Four Canadian Networks, (CBC, CTV, Global, and City)

But how does it work?

Simple:

  1. Get a bunch of friends over to your house and watch all the trailers for this year’s new network television shows. (List below)
  2. Everyone Pays $5. (You can use pretend money)
  3. Divide the amount of shows by the amount of people. (There are 55 this year)
  4. Put everyone’s name in a hat, chip bowl, or other semi-spherical receptor.
  5. Pick a name from the receptor and that person gets first pick. Record what that person choses and have them pick the next name. Continue until everyone has an even number of shows picked.
  6. Give updates weekly or monthly for how well shows are doing. I recommend TV Line, TV By The Numbers, and Is My Show Cancelled for checking what is and what isn’t cancelled.
  7. At next year’s Draft give this year’s first place 50% of the money collected, Second place 30%, and Third place 20%.

And that’s it it’s just that simple. Below you’ll find the listings with links to the trailers or descriptions and the Grading scheme.

Shows

Title Premier Day Network Type Trailer Link
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris 09-15-2015 Tuesday NBC Variety Series Trailer
Blindspot 09-21-2015 Monday NBC Drama Trailer
Life in Pieces 09-21-2015 Monday CBS Family Sitcom Trailer
Minority Report 09-21-2015 Monday Fox Science fiction crime drama Trailer
Limitless 09-22-2015 Tuesday CBS Drama Trailer
Scream Queens 09-22-2015 Tuesday Fox Horror-Comedy Anthology Trailer
The Muppets 09-22-2015 Tuesday ABC Comedy Trailer
Rosewood 09-23-2015 Wednesday Fox Procedural Trailer
Heroes Reborn 09-24-2015 Thursday NBC Superhero Trailer
The Player 09-24-2015 Thursday NBC Drama Trailer
Blood and Oil 09-27-2015 Sunday ABC Soap Opera Trailer
Quantico 09-27-2015 Sunday ABC Thriller Trailer
Grandfathered 09-29-2015 Tuesday Fox Comedy Trailer
The Grinder 09-29-2015 Tuesday Fox Legal Comedy Trailer
Code Black 09-30-2015 Wednesday CBS Medical drama Trailer
Dr. Ken 10-02-2015 Friday ABC Multi-camera comedy Trailer
This Life 10-05-2015 Monday CBC Drama Trailer
Young Drunk Punk 10-06-2015 Tuesday CBC Comedy Trailer
The Romeo Section 10-14-2015 Wednesday CBC Espionage Trailer
Truth be Told 10-16-2015 Friday NBC Comedy Trailer
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 10-19-2015 Monday CW Musical Comedy-Drama Trailer
Supergirl 10-26-2015 Monday CBS Superhero Trailer
Wicked City 10-27-2015 Tuesday ABC True crime procedural drama Trailer
Angel from Hell 11-05-2015 Thursday CBS Single-camera comedy Trailer
Chicago Med 11-10-2015 Tuesday NBC Medical Drama Trailer
Bordertown Mid-Season Fox Adult Animated Sitcom Trailer
Containment Mid-Season CW Drama Trailer
Crowded Mid-Season NBC Sitcom Trailer
Heartbreaker Mid-Season NBC Medical Drama Trailer
Hot & Bothered Mid-Season NBC Drama Telenovela Description
Legends of Tomorrow Mid-Season CW Superhero Time Travel Anthology Trailer
Lucifer Mid-Season Fox Comic Book Drama Trailer
Of Kings and Prophets Mid-Season ABC Drama Trailer
Shades of Blue Mid-Season NBC Police Procedural Trailer
The Catch Mid-Season ABC Thriller Trailer
The Frankenstein Code Mid-Season Fox Science Fiction Drama Trailer
You, Me, and the End of the World Mid-Season NBC / Sky1 Science Fiction Comedy-Drama Description
Braindead Unknown CBS Alien Zombie Political Drama Description
Baroness Von Sketch Show Unknown CBC Sketch Comedy Description
Better Late Than Never Unknown NBC Celebrity Travel Description
Coach Unknown NBC Sitcom Revival Description
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Unknown CBS Procedural Description
Emerald City Unknown NBC Drama Description
Game of Silence Unknown NBC Drama Description
Houdini and Doyle Unknown Fox / Global / BBC Drama Description
Kim’s Convenience Unknown CBC Comedy Description
Little Big Shots Unknown NBC Variety Children Description
Rush Hour Unknown CBS Comedy Drama Description
Shoot the Messenger Unknown CBC Drama Description
Superstore Unknown NBC Single Camera Workplace Comedy Description
The Code (working title) Unknown Global Hockey / PI Description
The Family Unknown ABC Political drama Trailer
The Guide to Surviving Life Unknown Fox College Comedy Trailer
The Real O’Neals Unknown ABC / TV2 Single-camera comedy Trailer
Uncle Buck Unknown ABC Single-camera comedy Description

Scoring

Points Fall Winter / Spring Unknown
Pilot Airs 0 5 10
Survives Past Sweeps (End of November) 5 N/A N/A
Full Season Order 10 10 15
Full Season airs 15 15 20
Second Season Renewal 20 20 25

The Code (working title) starring Jason Priestley – who also serves as an Executive Producer – as an ex-pro hockey player who uses his celebrity status and reputation as an enforcer on the ice in his new gig as a crime-solving PI.

Who’s interested in a TV Draft?

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – Decked Out, Disaster Decks, and Custom Built

I am not really a handy person. I can hang pictures, do some basic plumbing but I can’t install a water softener. I can patch a hole in drywall; beyond that I’m completely useless without help.

My skills are mostly book related but I love watching HGTV. I was amazed to find out how many of the HGTV stars are Canadian.

Over the past year, my wife and I have fallen for a team on the network that has multiple shows. Each show is awesome and they’re both instructional and funny. The team consists of Paul Lafrance, Joey Fletcher, David Kenney, and Kate Campbell. With others.

Decked Out

Has the team building insanely beautiful and elaborate decks.

Disaster Decks

Has the team teaching a poor home owner how to build strong and legal decks. (My only gripe with this one is that the homeowner that helps them is almost always the guy.)

Custom Built

The newest by this team but by far my favourite; each episode they build a new piece of furniture for one customer and renovate a room for another. That even inspired me to check the leather furniture gallery – too many new ideas I’ve got! Their ideas are always creative and fun.

If you like watching building shows where they make amazing stuff go check out all of these shows.

Éric

The Quest and The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Some days require more coffee than others. Feel free to quote me on that.

The Quest

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A few weeks ago my brother recommended that I check out The Quest. I wasn’t all that interested at first but then I watched an episode.

Let’s just say that so far I’m loving it!

For those that don’t know, it’s a reality show with a scripted storyline, set in a fantasy world. The major reason I didn’t want to see it was my lack of faith in reality TV. I expected it to be filled with bad versions of fantasy with hammy actors and cut throat pretty people as contestants.

I was wrong. It seems everyone involved loves Fantasy and they’ve gone to great depths to make it awesome. The actors are great, the contestants are fantasy geeks.

It does like to spend time on drama and some of the challenges feel a little low budget but it’s a lot of fun.

I particularly like the Hag who lives in the woods. She really got into it.

Watch it on ABC in the US or CityTv in Canada.

Novel?

I have a bad habit of being inspired by things that I like. The Quest isn’t an exception.

While I watched, I wondered what if the cameras were hidden and the contestants started to wonder if it was real or not. Imagine the emotional effect of the end of second act realization that all the “Banished” characters were killed.

Think what it would mean for the characters who don’t understand it isn’t a game.

I really like this idea for a novel and I’ve even written a proof of concept for one of the characters. I was expecting it to be 500 words but it quickly ballooned to 2000.

I’ll post it on Thursday.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I was challenged and then challenged my wife.

For those of you who live under a rock, the challenge is to bring awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Charcot Disease).

It’s a terrifying degenerative disease that affects muscles. From what I understand your muscles slowly atrophy. It’s paralysing, painful, and those affected have a short life expectancy.

The challenge says that if you can, you should donate $10 to the cause if you’ve dumped a bucket of ice water on your head and $100 if you didn’t.

My video and my wife’s video.

Charity Drain

Last estimates see the challenge having raised over 80 million dollars.

Some people are saying that the success of the campaign has been stopping people from donating to other causes. I don’t want to be the reason that other causes suffer, so I’m encouraging those that can afford to donate to multiple charities at the same time.

I donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association in memory of my Mother who died of complications related to diabetes in 2008. I also donated to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of my Father who died of brain cancer in 2010.

I encourage those that can afford to donate to:

Even a little bit helps.

 

Would you join The Quest?

Have you or someone you love been affected by ALS?

 

Thank you,

Eric

Screw Money Time is Knowledge

John Lennon

You were only killing time and it’ll kill you right back / Come on! come on! / It’s time to burn up the fuse / You’ve got nothing to do and even less to lose
– Meatloaf “Out Of The Frying Pan”

Wasting Time

Have you ever thought about a project, game, tv show, series of movies, or book and thought, “Dang! That was a large chunk of my life.”

I read an average of 15 hours a week (Fiction, articles, news, facebook). I read much more fiction in grade school and high school and almost finished an English degree in university. If you stretch that over my entire life (24 years of which I read regularly) that’s 18,720 hours or just over 2 years of my life (It’s probably a little higher than that). Some would say I’ve been slacking that’s only 1/18th of my life.

I’m sure if you looked into my other hobbies (Writing, TV, Movies, Tabletop games, Video games, Tabletop role playing games, acting, and talking) you’d find that it’s a huge part of my life as I am a “ GamingBuff

Is all that a waste of time? Does my deep seeded love and obsession with stories “Wasting Time”?

If you know me you’ll already know that I don’t think it was but I hear so many people accusing activities of being a waste of time.

I’ve seen every Star Trek episode ever aired (Yes including the Animated Series) does that mean I’ve wasted over 600 hours not counting the movies? I don’t think so, I think it made me think throughout the 6 series. It challenged my idea of humanity, morals, and various other concepts.

“Well that’s Star Trek,” I hear you thinking. It’s not. Any story has something in it to make you think and challenge your preconceptions about the world. Even if all you have to think is how bad this story is and how you could fix it.

I think for something to be worth your time, it needs to have two things:

1. An idea or lesson (Something to make you think)

2. Fun (Something that you enjoy)

If you read my book or movie reviews you know I’ll talk about “important” stories that I didn’t enjoy but that I believe are wonderful. It means I didn’t enjoy it but it made me think. These are often great works that are too painful for me to re-watch but I feel that I’ve grown while watching/reading them.

So my imaginary friends, next time someone tells you to get your nose out of a book, your ass off the couch, your head from a game, or your hand off the polyhedral dice, and stop wasting time. Ask them what is more important than learning about your world and yourself through its best, worst, and average stories. (I’d also apply this to Sports, Travelling, and Creating.)

Until later, remember to see your world through a critical eye.

Analyze, Understand, and Grow!

John Lennon

Lately I’m easily… *SQUIRREL!*

I’ve been having trouble concentrating lately. Not during important things like reading, writing, or talking to my wife. It’s while watching TV.

I’m an avid fan of television and consume a lot more than I should. Especially while multitasking. My first writing project was a fanfiction staring a post Star Trek: The Next Generation Scotty. I think both television and video games have been greatly underestimated as art and educational. That’s a completely other post however.

Full disclosure, between television, movies, and youtube, I probably watch 30-40 hours a week, most of it while working. I’m a layout artist for the government and can easily multitask without affecting the speed or quality of my work.

All that being said, a lot of shows are having trouble keeping my interest. Most of them are new shows. The particular culprits are Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, Atlantis, Haven, and Grimm. I’d watch them and suddenly find myself looking at my phone or thinking about something else.

I thought it was me until I watched Nightmare on Elmstreet 3. I assumed I would have the same problem but I didn’t. Then I started re-watching Gilmore Girls and again didn’t get distracted.

So what was my problem? Was I bored? No. Were the shows boring? Not really.

I think I’ve come up with a reason. “Pacing” any good action, cop, adventure, or genre show has high levels of tension and action followed by cool-down periods. It’s a structure that’s shared between most of them. It helps to calm the audience or build tension depending on how it’s used.

I think the problem is simply that their cool-down periods are boring me. You know the part where they get ready, or the part where they explain, or the part where they chat about the secondary storyline. It’s just not keeping my interest.

This is an essential part of the story but it doesn’t have to be boring. Look at Castle, it has more witty banter and flirting during these scenes to compensate. Or look at Doctor Who or
Buffy, they do these scenes during running, or flying or while they move to the next thing.

Some shows, like Gilmore Girls, don’t need the ups and downs and keeps to a middle ground tension.

All the shows that keep my interest are seasoned with humour. I think the combination of strong character relationships and humour is what keeps me focused during the slower bits.

In writing, I always try to write something that it interesting and funny, to me, in the cool-downs or build-ups. The hope is that the reader won’t get bored or distracted.

These aren’t bad shows, most of them are still struggling to get their balance or get their balance back. If they were bad, I’d stop watching them.

What about you? Are there shows that just can’t keep your interest? If so what would you like to see them change?

Lately I’m easily… *SQUIRREL!*

I’ve been having trouble concentrating lately. Not during important things like reading, writing, or talking to my wife. It’s while watching TV.

I’m an avid fan of television and consume a lot more than I should. Especially while multitasking. My first writing project was a fanfiction staring a post Star Trek: The Next Generation Scotty. I think both television and video games have been greatly underestimated as art and educational. That’s a completely other post however.

Full disclosure, between television, movies, and youtube, I probably watch 30-40 hours a week, most of it while working. I’m a layout artist for the government and can easily multitask without affecting the speed or quality of my work.

All that being said, a lot of shows are having trouble keeping my interest. Most of them are new shows. The particular culprits are Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, Atlantis, Haven, and Grimm. I’d watch them and suddenly find myself looking at my phone or thinking about something else.

I thought it was me until I watched Nightmare on Elmstreet 3. I assumed I would have the same problem but I didn’t. Then I started re-watching Gilmore Girls and again didn’t get distracted.

So what was my problem? Was I bored? No. Were the shows boring? Not really.

I think I’ve come up with a reason. “Pacing” any good action, cop, adventure, or genre show has high levels of tension and action followed by cool-down periods. It’s a structure that’s shared between most of them. It helps to calm the audience or build tension depending on how it’s used.

I think the problem is simply that their cool-down periods are boring me. You know the part where they get ready, or the part where they explain, or the part where they chat about the secondary storyline. It’s just not keeping my interest.

This is an essential part of the story but it doesn’t have to be boring. Look at Castle, it has more witty banter and flirting during these scenes to compensate. Or look at Doctor Who or
Buffy, they do these scenes during running, or flying or while they move to the next thing.

Some shows, like Gilmore Girls, don’t need the ups and downs and keeps to a middle ground tension.

All the shows that keep my interest are seasoned with humour. I think the combination of strong character relationships and humour is what keeps me focused during the slower bits.

In writing, I always try to write something that it interesting and funny, to me, in the cool-downs or build-ups. The hope is that the reader won’t get bored or distracted.

These aren’t bad shows, most of them are still struggling to get their balance or get their balance back. If they were bad, I’d stop watching them.

What about you? Are there shows that just can’t keep your interest? If so what would you like to see them change?

Heat Rises– Book Review

I love the television show, Castle. When I heard they were going to release a book that was “written” by the main character, I pre-ordered it months in advance.

The first book was good. It was an ok police procedural and it felt like it could have been written by Richard Castle. I pre-ordered the second and it was barely passable. The writing was clumsy, filled with angst, and felt like it was written by someone who didn’t know the series.

I was so disappointed by the second that I didn’t pick up Heat Rises, the third, until it was in stores. Even then it took me nine months to work up the courage to read it.

Was I ever surprised! This is by far the best written, most authentic, and most entertaining of the series.

If you don’t like the show, or haven’t seen it, this book isn’t for you.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my post here.

Characters

This is a strange concept. For this book to succeed it has to not only create interesting and well rounded characters. It also has to mimic the voice of Richard Castle. Who is also a character. It’s Meta in many ways.

In the other books, I could believe that maybe Castle wrote them. This book felt like it was written by Castle. Each of the characters that are based off of other characters in the show, acted the way they should. The voices were perfect.

The only problem I have with the characters, relates to how perfect they are. It makes it very difficult to separate them from their TV counterparts. A real author wouldn’t make the comparisons so blatant and I felt like the writer was pandering to the audience at times.

For characters, I give it 4 out of 5

Writing Style

The writing style was exactly what you’d expect from Richard Castle. It was witty, quick, and interesting. The writer even took time to add a few jokes that Richard Castle wouldn’t understand. For example, at one point someone tells Heat that she could be a Bond girl. Stana Katic was a bond girl in Quantum of Solace.

For what it was, it was good. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Story

Wow was this story stretched. It took way to long for it to build up and then twice as long to finally get somewhere. I’m not a big reader of police procedurals, I can’t judge if this was normal.

Don’t get me wrong, it was an interesting story and I’d say it was even better than some of Castle’s season endings. It was just a little slow at times.

I give the story a 2 out of 5

Fun

Despite all it’s faults, I love the television show and I had a lot of fun with this book. I felt like I was connected to the show. I didn’t find it hard to read and I enjoyed most of it.

I give it a 4 out of 5 for fun

Overall

This is a great book for fans of the TV series. Read the first one, skip the second, and definitely read this one.

If you don’t like the series, move along. This isn’t the book you are looking for.

Final score is 70%